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New Members - Welcome to the Forum!>Gaining Control of Toddlers
Rena123 10:05 AM 09-25-2018
Hey everyone, new here. I've worked at a center for a year and have taught toddlers for 4 months.

The toddlers listen to everyone but me. As soon as I'm alone with them they just run around the room. They won't sit in time out.

Nap time is a disaster if it's just me. They'll get off the cots and run around and play with toys. The minute another teacher walks in they'll run back to their cots and lay down.

Today I took 3 of them for a bathroom break. They ran around the room until my boss came and helped me.

My boss told me that the kids haven't learned anything from me because they won't listen long enough for me to conduct class. She wants me to step it up.

I've tried singing and spending 1 on 1, quality time with them. But the minute I try to do 1 on 1 one of them starts doing something unsafe and I have to go stop them.

I'm desperate to get these kids to listen to me. What can I do?
storybookending 10:14 AM 09-25-2018
Do you have a teacher voice? If not learn one. Talk assertive but not yelling when children are misbehaving. The children have to trust you to learn from you so establishing a good teacher relationship is crucial. The fact that they listen to others and not you shows me that they are capable of listening.

Iím concerned when you say you canít spend one on one time with anyone because someone is doing something unsafe? What are they doing? Remove all materials deemed unsafe as they probably shouldnít be in the classroom anyways and will save you time. Limit toys if you can, maybe there is too much going on in the room causing the craziness.
Rena123 02:29 PM 09-25-2018
No teacher voice; I talk to them in what sounds stern to me but I'm guessing it's not since they don't listen.

By unsafe I mean fighting over toys, climbing things, running around the room, squeezing into cubbies etc.
storybookending 06:29 PM 09-25-2018
Originally Posted by Rena123:
No teacher voice; I talk to them in what sounds stern to me but I'm guessing it's not since they don't listen.

By unsafe I mean fighting over toys, climbing things, running around the room, squeezing into cubbies etc.
Do they have safe alternatives inside to climb and run and play? Are they getting enough time outdoors?
Rena123 04:53 AM 09-26-2018
They don't get out too often because I can't handle them outside by myself with them not listening to me. They don't have any climbing structures inside. They aren't supposed to run inside but they don't listen to me about that.
Cat Herder 05:04 AM 09-26-2018
Why did you choose to work in the toddler room?
Rockgirl 06:28 AM 09-26-2018
Assuming the playground is safe, Iíd have them out there as much as possible. They need it, and it should help with the extra energy they have.

I agree with using a firm voice, and you will have to take charge. They want you lets them know theyíre safe and secure. Follow through with every single thing you tell them. Soon theyíll realize you mean business!
storybookending 06:56 AM 09-26-2018
What age are we referring to when you say toddlers? I only ask because each state seems to have a different definition of what a ďtoddlerĒ actually is.

I assume because you said you work at a center that itís a licensed facility and therefore should have a fence and play structures that meet their needs. What are they doing outside that is so bad that you canít handle them? Have you worked with toddlers before? Maybe your expectations are too high. They are still learning at this point and you canít expect perfection. They should be able to run and play and climb and explore without someone hovering deeming what they are doing as ďunsafeĒ. Itís possible they donít listen because youíre not allowing them to do anything fun. They need to learn risk management on their own and thatís not going to happen and you are going to have more accidents and ouchies in the long run if they are never allowed to explore on their own.

Have you considered a change in career if this is not something you can get under control? Or perhaps transferring to an infant room? Iím guessing your boss and coworkers are noticing that you canít handle your class and will probably start having talks with you about performance if they havenít already.
flying_babyb 09:10 PM 10-05-2018
IM here now! The secret? Find there currency! A favorite book, a activity. Currently for us: pete the cat, and a story mitt (monkeys on the bed). Any advice on keeping a toddler OFF the table? I cant even change a diaper without him climbing on the table or trying to run out of the room
Josiegirl 03:48 AM 10-06-2018
How many children are you responsible for? What are the exact ages? What activities are available for them inside? Has the room stayed the same since you started?

Toddlers are known for movement, using their bodies in every way, shape and form they can imagine. Our job is to provide them with every safe opportunity to do that. And each child is so very different! I have a 16 mo who would be happy to drive trucks all day long and he is not easily distracted, IOW he could sit and play with a toy by himself for 30 minutes. My just barely 2 yo is a climber, runner, mover all day long. I encourage her to explore her abilities safely. For example, I have a table for dcks to eat at but since we don't use it at the moment(still have 2 yo in high chair because she refuses to sit long enough to eat tho I keep trying). Anyways, I put all the little chairs away because that was the dangerous part. And I put the table down to the lowest it would go. They use it to climb over, under, behind. Another thing I get out occasionally for them is a 4 way collapsible tunnel. They do lots of crawling and popping up in the middle.
Granted, I'm not caring for as many as you are so it's much easier. As for unsafe activities, look around your environment and see what you can change to enhance their exploration and maintain their attention safely, spaces need to be updated every once in awhile to remain interesting.
And this is JMO but why is a toddler room so focused on class learning when it should be focusing on the social, physical and self-help aspects of small children?
I do understand sometimes we need to use a firm voice to get the point across but I also find that loses effect and value if over-used. If kids are running crazy, start tiptoeing yourself and whispering. Whenever we play things like ring around the rosie, we add movements such as tiptoe, stomp, hop, etc. We love Going on a Bear Hunt book because of all the different movements we get to do.

Not everything you try will work, every group is different. Wow, ain't THAT the truth! I once created the coolest quiet reading corner using an extra twin mattress, a pretty canopy, lots of pillows. Well, all they could think of doing was jumping on the mattress and tearing the canopy off the ceiling. So that was that.

Good luck and hope something turns around for you! 0-3 has become my favorite age group but they can also be very challenging and physical.

Another activity they could sit and play with for long periods of time, is our floor light table, I have very few specific activities to use with it but if you check pinterest, I'll bet you could find 100's of cool activities to make on your own. If your class doesn't have something like that, talk to the director. AND so much learning going on without realizing it.
Tags:classroom management, training courses
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